Erbil – A helicopter belonging to the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group in Iraq crashed Thursday, an Iraqi security official said, after what the coalition described as an “in-flight mishap”.
“There were no coalition casualties nor damage to coalition or civilian infrastructure. The coalition aircraft was damaged,” the coalition said in a statement, adding that the incident occurred at 12:15 pm (0915 GMT).
A security official in Iraq’s northern autonomous Kurdistan region told AFP the helicopter crashed due to a “technical problem” near Al-Gwair, a town about 40 kilometres (25 miles) west of Erbil.
The official confirmed that the two crew members escaped unharmed.
The US-led coalition helped defeat IS after it grabbed swathes of Iraq and neighbouring Syria and declared their “caliphate” in 2014.
The jihadist group was defeated in late 2017 in Iraq after the last of its territory was retaken, but its fighters have continued to hide out in remote, mountainous areas, launching sporadic deadly attacks.
Baghdad in late 2021 announced the end of the coalition’s combat mission, though some troops remain in Iraq with a mandate to train and advise local security forces.
Roughly 2,500 US troops and 1,000 from other member countries in the coalition remain in the country, stationed at bases run by Iraqi forces.
Source : Iraqi News